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Iran Drones ‘Splinters in Eyes’ of Enemies: General

Iran’s drones have become “splinters in the eyes” of its enemies, the aerospace commander of the country’s Revolutionary Guards said on Thursday.

The US and Israel, the sworn enemies of Iran, accuse it of using drones and missiles to attack American forces and Israeli-linked ships in the Gulf to destabilize the region.

Tehran insists its military strategy is defensive and has blasted Washington for tying talks on reviving the Iran nuclear deal to future negotiations on its missile program.

“Our enemies say we should negotiate on missiles… and our drones have become splinters in their eyes,” said Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh. “If they insist on limiting the capabilities of our missiles and drones, it shows our strength,” he was quoted as saying on the Guards’ Sepahnews website.

“We don’t need to mention our strength because the enemy talks enough about Iran’s missiles and defensive capabilities,” he added.

Hajizadeh was speaking on the sidelines of commemorations honoring General Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, the architect of Iran’s missile program who was killed in a blast at a Guards’ base near Tehran in November 2011.

The US last month announced sanctions targeting Iran’s drone program, saying the Guards had supplied them to its allies in the Middle East, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Yemen’s Houthis, and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

In his comments on Thursday, Hajizadeh said Israeli “threats” against Iran, especially against its nuclear facilities, were statements meant for “internal consumption.”

“The Israelis can launch (an attack on Iran) but we will decide the outcome,” he said.

Iran warned Israel in October against “any military adventure” aimed at its nuclear program, after Israel said it reserves the right to use force against the Islamic republic.

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